A Fast Food Experience in the Future
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing restaurants to adjust how they provide food for their patrons, I wondered tonight what eating out will look like in a future with driverless cars.
It's Saturday night and you want to get dinner. Not anything formal like a meal with friends. You just want to get food and come back to watch a movie at home. You don't want to pay for delivery, and you don't mind spending a half hour on picking it up yourself.
You get in your car, turn it on with a fingerprint scan, and tell it you want to order from Cubby's (a local fast casual place). Immediately, the car pulls out of your driveway and sets off for Cubby's.
Meanwhile, up pops the Cubby's ordering experience on the touchscreen dashboard. You punch in or dictate your order and confirm payment. Since your car already read your fingerprint, no further authentication is necessary.
You're on your way, and your order is put in, so you tell the car to play Parks & Recreation. Up it pops on the dashboard.
Because Cubby's isn't far from your house, you arrive before the meal is ready. No problem. The car pulls into a numbered parking spot. You continue to watch your show.
When your meal is ready, a server will identify your car by its license plate, which was sent with the order, and bring you your food. You pull out the tray table that's in front of your seat, open the window, receive the food, and place it on the table, thank the server, and close the window.
Your car pulls out of the numbered spot and heads home as you begin your food and continue watching Parks & Rec.
You arrive home, staying in the car an extra minute to finish your fries. You get out, toss the trash, and go inside. And you're done.
In the time it takes you to drive to the restaurant and return home, you have also ordered, waited, and eaten.
A small nicety I expect in the not-too-distant future.
Thanks for reading.